-say they were racially targeted
On Phagwah Day, Sunday, Dameion Gordon and Vernon Beckles, both residents of Georgetown,
journeyed to Canal No. 1 Polder, West Bank Demerara to celebrate the Hindu festival of colours, with friends. But what was supposed to have been a fun evening, turned into a painful and embarrassing one for the two men.
They were allegedly beaten and had racial slurs hurled at them by residents who accused the two of stealing a pair of rear view mirrors from a car parked along the road.
“We did drinking in Alberttown, and then one ah we partner, who is a soldier, come and seh how he got a li’l session on the 17th (of April), and that we should come…We ain’t too familiar with the place, so he seh leh we mek a quick dash over and he gon show we is where, so that when the time come, we gon know how to find the place,” Beckles told Kaieteur News.
He explained that after they had seen the location for the “session,” the group of friends decided to continue their enjoyment by having a drink at a “bottom house rum shop” further down Canal No. 1 road. This was some time around 19:00hrs.
“We come out of the car, and the friend who lives in the area, start leading the way with his wife, he brother-in-law and another friend. Me, and Dameion went following them from behind. Next thing I know, some guys rushing up to we saying that me and Dameion thief their car mirrors.”
The car, they were referring to, Beckles recalled, was parked a short distance away from the drinking spot where he and his friends were headed.
“Somebody said how they see we trying fuh take off the mirrors…then somebody else seh how they find the mirror in the car we were in, which is the soldier boy’s car. Then another person seh how the mirror was found next to the car that they said it get thief from, so I really don’t know wha is the truth,” Beckles said.
He explained that after being aggressively accused of being thieves, he and his friend, Gordon instinctively put up a defence, which subsequently resulted in a scuffle.
“Before I could even ketch me self properly, somebody bruk a bottle in my head,” Beckles related.
According to the Georgetown residents, they were pounced on by a group of the village’s men who gave them a sound thrashing.
“They threw us into the canal and continue beating us. They beat us fuh several minutes,” Gordon told this newspaper. He said that at this point, his other friends were attempting to reason with the men.
“The military friend and the other boy just keep telling them to leave we alone, that we don’t thief and that we’re their friends and so, but they didn’t listen…Them men just kept hitting at we,” Gordon added.
The 29-year-old, who is currently pursuing a degree in Business, said that throughout the ordeal, he and Beckles were repeatedly being told that they had to be thieves, “because we black. That just isn’t right man. That is racism to the highest.”
Beckles told this newspaper that even after members of the Community Policing Group showed up and handcuffed him and Gordon, the beating still continued.
“Is only when the real police come then they leave us…if the police didn’t come in time, we woulda been dead by today,” Beckles, who is a construction worker said.
The two men also complained of being treated like hardcore criminals by police officers who didn’t know who they were, and more importantly, had no evidence of the claims made by the Canal No. 1 Polder residents.
As of late last night, police officials of that Division were not available for comments. Gordon and Beckles are however, seeking justice with the hope that their names would also be cleared.
Dec 14, 2019CHENNAI, India, CMC – Despite a recent disappointing record in One-Day Internationals, assistant coach Roddy Estwick believes the signs are there that West Indies are about to turn around their...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]